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Guest blog: Gaelic brought me to Paisley

Is e Gàidhlig a thug a’ Phàislig mi. Cha mhòr nach do thàinig mi idir dhan bhaile àlainn seo, is an iomadh togalach sàr eireachdail ann agus daoine cho laghach’s a tha anns a’ t-saoghal.

It was Gaelic that brought me to Paisley. I almost never came at all to this beautiful town, with its stunning architecture and so many wonderful people I’ve met over the years. I distinctly remember sitting in the Hostel when I first moved over in late 2012 from Belfast while I was still hunting for accommodation in my new home of Glasgow, when I noted to one of the lads, ‘apartments look a lot cheaper in Paisley… what’s that place like?’.

Guest blog: Gaelic brought me to Paisley

The answer I received from the Scottish guy in the room was enough for me to mentally designate Paisley as a ‘no-go’ area I definitely wouldn’t explore in my new home of Scotland.

Yet when the Royal National Mòd came to town in 2012, I had to come out for work related to my Gaelic Outreach & Engagement work, using Circus Skills, Graffiti, Storytelling & more to broaden the contexts of use of Gaelic and support its normalisation and growth through both contemporary and traditional artforms.

And to say I was pleasantly surprised is rather an understatement.

Tha Pàislig a-nise air fear de na bailtean as fheàrr leam anns a’ t-saoghal agus tha e air a bhith na phribhleid mhòr a bhith ag obair an-seo gu math tric bhon uair sin.

It has been my great and incredible pleasure and privilege to return to work in Paisley for four years running for their Halloween Festival since 2012, starting out with Walkabout Stilt Fire Entertainment that year, moving to the first Halloween Parade in 2013, working with 7 amazing young performers from PACE Youth Theatre, & St Charles’ Primary and Tannahill Community Centre in creating bilingual Gaelic Halloween lanterns.

This work has continued to grow, with the epic awesomeness of last year’s parade, to this year’s Sma’ Shot Parade & our work for the Halloween Parade 2016.

Tha mi toilichte’s a ghabhas gun do thagh mi tighinn a’ Phàislig. Tha e gu cinnteach air a bhith ar fear de na rudan as fheàrr a rinn mi riamh nam bheatha.

I’m so glad I ignored the advice of the guy in the Hostel about Paisley. It has truly been one of the most incredible journeys of my life to work with this community, and I’ve been privileged to not just meet so many wonderful people on the way, but to create paid work opportunities for local PACE graduates, amongst others, and facilitate people exploring their own creativity as well.

Bithidh ar n-obair ri fhaicinn aig Pairèid airson Oidhche Shamhna a’ tachairt feasgar Dihaoine 28mh Dàmhair – Come and see the amazing work with local youth theatre performers, martial artists, youth, community & social advocates, cheerleaders and more as part of the 2016 Paisley Halloween Parade on Friday evening the 28th of October!